So, it’s nearly that Turkey Time again, and shoppers everywhere are scouring the stores for last minute ingredients and supplies. By now you probably have a menu and have hopefully had some time to practice new recipes for the big day.
Maybe you read my Thanksgiving primer in Living Without Magazine’s October/November 2010 issue or have been perusing my Thanksgiving Ebook for recipes. If so, you already have my extensive checklists for a stress-free holiday.
But let’s say you’ve been busy … perhaps your plans have changed … maybe you are newly diagnosed and this is your first gluten free Thanksgiving … whatever you do, don’t panic! There is still time to prepare!
The first thing to rembember is that Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy family and friends and to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for … not for stressing out about whether your pie crust will be perfect! With that in mind, review this cheat sheet for last minute to-dos and check out some of these recipes to get ready for a very happy holiday!
Checklist of To-Dos
Here are the essentials you’ll need to get through the day with happy, healthy tastebuds and your sanity!
If you are dining at another’s house:
- call the host and check the menu now
- if there are any dishes that might already be gluten-free, confirm that they will not be adding or contaminating the dish with any gluten ingredients
- ask if they are stuffing the turkey or if the stuffing is on the side (encourage the latter!)
- check whether their turkey brand is gluten-free so you know in advance
- if they haven’t bought their turkey yet, suggest some gluten-free brands (see list below)
- coordinate with the host about what dishes you should bring (suggest that you bring the menu items you most want to be able to enjoy so you are sure to have a gluten-free option)
If you are the host:
- check with your guests to see if there are any other dietary restrictions to take into account
- arrange for guests to bring dishes that will complement your menu and are already gluten-free, if possible (e.g. cranberry sauce; salad; fruit; green beans; ice cream or whipped topping for pies; wine or sparkling apple cider ….)
- order or buy your turkey early so you are sure to get a gluten-free bird (see list below for gluten-free brands)
- make your shopping list and shop ASAP (try not to shop the day before Thanksgiving for anything but fresh fruit or vegetables)
- bake casseroles and pumpkin pies 1-2 days before Thanksgiving
- bake gluten-free bread now if you don’t have bread already made for stuffing – dry the bread in cubes in the oven the day before Thanksgiving
As with any other food, minimally-processed, fresh and local are best. Never buy a turkey that is pre-basted or stuffed. Gravy packets that accompany some turkeys also usually contain gluten – make gravy from scratch using your favorite gravy recipe with Jules Gluten Free Flour. Check with manufacturers if there is any doubt about their gluten-free status, but the following companies offer at least some gluten-free turkey choices:
- Aaron’s Gourmet
- Empire Kosher
- Honeysuckle White
- Organic Prairie
- Pilgrim’s Pride
- Shady Brook Farms
Essential Thanksgiving Recipes:
Fresh Pumpkin Purée
Pie Crust & Video
Pumpkin Pie with Crust
Pumpkin Pie without Crust
Pumpkin Corn Muffins
Green Bean Casserole with “Fried” Onions
Sweet Potato Bread Pudding
Many more recipes for casseroles, side dishes, gravy and desserts, as well as recommendations for planning the meal can be found in my Thanksgiving Ebook and in my newest cookbook, Free for All Cooking: 150 Easy Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Recipes the Whole Family Can Enjoy!
Wishing you and yours a wonderful, thankful holiday!